Friday, August 1, 2008

Stood Up By Alan Thicke!?!!?

(UPDATE, 11:44 a.m. PT, 8/2: Norm in today's Review-Journal lead off with this incident here. He didn't clarify much, but I suspect we'll be hearing more. ALSO, a nightclub-scene website reports of Blush, the ultra-lounge at Wynn: "Celebrities like Alan Thicke was seen here last night having a good time." Wowzer. He snubs the media he's paid by BMW to cater to and then pops up at Blush to rock it. And Blush, which is referred to on that site as "one of the hottest club scenes in Vegas" has his presence to show for proof of its place in the zeitgeist. Can't make this shit up.)

I've had a long career in the media. A lot has happened to me in a lot of places. And I've never been so bizarrely mistreated as I was today by, of all people, Alan Thicke. You know, the kindly dad from "Growing Pains."

He just became our new what-a-jerk-off punchline. Earlier in the week, a PR rep approached me with an offer for an interview with Thicke, who was in Las Vegas to shill for BMW's new electric Mini Cooper. I figured I'd go ahead and take the interview for "The Strip" -- Thicke has some sort of game show event coming up in Vegas in October -- and check out the electric car. I had just earlier in the week had an interview for The New York Times with an Arizona developer who insisted that electric cars were the big new thing, so I happened to have coincidentally begun taking an interest in doing a piece on the topic.

I agreed to meet Thicke at the Las Vegas Ice Center, a hockey and skating rink far across town from me. I was to interview him while we rode together to the Hard Rock. This would be a significant time investment, having to drive literally from one end of the valley to the other, then ride with Thicke almost all the way back, then have someone take me way out west again to get my car. Here's what the drive from near our house to the place I was to meet Thicke looks like:

It's far. And it's 110F out. And my car A/C, valiant though it is, wasn't really capable of keeping me cool given all the lights and traffic. Woe is me.

By Thursday, I was starting to realize I was pretty overbooked for Friday. But I had promised to meet Thicke and he was only in town for a day, so I moved interviews and appointments I had set up for pieces I've got going for the L.A. Times, New York Times and the Las Vegas Weekly. I also, as I always do, spent hours online prepping by reading a zillion old stories and drawing up questions. I wanted to read Thicke's new book in advance, but nobody on his team could manage to get a copy to me. I'm kinda glad now.

About five minutes before I arrived, the rep, John Passuth of Avalanche PR, even called from his East Coast offices to make sure I knew precisely where in the parking lot I needed to be. So imagine my surprise when I show up on time, get out of my car, walk up to the lady who is supposed to lead me to my interview and discover that the interview is off.

She said: "Alan's already on the bus. He's gone. I'm sorry. This interview is off."

Huh? Five minutes ago this was a go. Now it's off. Period. Not "we'll reschedule" or "do you want to check out the electric car anyway" or "can we get you a cold drink before you risk heat stroke on the ride home." It's just off. Buh-bye.

I started back home and checked my voicemail. There was this from Mr. Passuth: "Alan Thicke had an emerency and has left the premises and we will have to cancel the interview. I am terribly, terribly sorry. We just got word from Alan's people. I've never dealt with anyone who dropped the ball within a minute or two of the interview so I'm embarrassed to even make this call."

As well he should be. When I got back to my computer, I wrote demanding an explanation. This was Passuth's response: "His publicist told us that he has canceled his entire afternoon of media. There was a situation with an earlier event at the ice center, nothing to do with my client or the car, that is the catalyst for all of this. Sorry I don't have a more detailed explanation for you."

What might have happened? Maybe some deranged "Family Ties" fan thought he was Alex P. Keaton's dad and that just drives Alan Thicke NUTS. Who knows. All I know is that Alan Thicke blew a massive hole in my busy day and all I got was this shitty blog post.


Anonymous said...

That sucks! What a waste of your precious time... He probably woulda been grumpy anyway.

Bay in TN said...

What was it I was trying to remember about Alan Thicke? Oh, yeah! He's a talentless hack, anyway. You're lucky you got stood up, Steve! If he had been there, just think how stultifying the whole interview would've been. Ugh!

I'm sorry you wasted brain cells on the talentless hack, and I'm sorrier that you drove all the way out there.

Anonymous said...

you know, she's right, steve. alan thicke is more interesting becasue he didn't show up!!!

Anonymous said...

I read this post but I wouldn't have read any actual interview with Alan Thicke. I'm surprised you even considered doing this in the first place. Blessing in disguise. He's not worthy of the VegasHappensHere time/space warp.

Jamie in Tulsa said...

I'll take the contrary view here. I can see Steve making a Thicke interview interesting, really. Did you know he wrote the Facts of Life and Diffrent Strokes themes? I've long since stopped questioning Steve's interview skills and ability to find the unusual angles. Remember what he got out of Chuck Woolery? Or Chubby Checker? The big names are great, but I'm betting if anyone could make Alan Thicke interesting, it would be Steve.

Amy said...

To be honest, I would have been interested in hearing more about the car, not Thicke. He's now shown himself to be a poor representative for BMW. I hope they give their $75,000 prototype to someone who can have a better relationship with the media.

Anonymous said...

I'm not the least bit surprised by this. Alan Thicke has always considered himself an "A-List" Hollywood celebrity, and he has a history of being a jerk. I work as a tv news anchor/lineup editor here in London, Ontario. He started his radio career in this city about 45 years ago, and on the rare occasions when he's been back to the city for a charity event, he carries himself like he's Brad Pitt. It's kind of pathetic, actually. I mean, The Facts of Life/Different Strokes themes, and "Growing Pains?" And precisely what has this guy done in the past 20 years? Sorry you had to waste a day on this barely-was.

Anonymous said...

I bet he had to go across town to film another one of those annoying Tahiti Village commercials.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your wasted time and gas. Truely I am.

But being stood up by Alan Thicke!?! Perhaps I have a weird sense of humor, but that is just plain funny.

(I would like to have heard about the electric car, though.)

Anonymous said...

i think steve gets the humor in it. i'm a little surprised thicke hasn't had the class to make amends yet. may explain why he is what he is.

Troy from Las Vegas said...

Things I like:
Mini Coopers
When Steve asks his interviewees if they are broke.

Oh and I thought Alan Thicke was dead? or was that just his career?

LinFromNJ said...

I thought he was dead too.

Anonymous said...

As Hermione Gingold said when asked if her ex-husband was still alive, "It's a matter of opinion."

BobK said...

I managed to find this about the hockey going on prior to the media event:

Norm Clarke mentioned about some bad press in the past.

Would be interested to figure out what the bad blood between the participants in the hockey event and the press was which might shed some insight into why the media event got canceled at the last minute.

Anonymous said...

It's your own fault. With gas being four bucks a gallon, you should've weighed your $16 against the star power of Allen Thick, and you would've stayed home.

PS- Thicke should leave off of his credits writing those two trheme songs. It tarnishes his already dim star, in my opinion...

PSS- I like your blog.